Purdue students are making residents smile at a local healthcare center

Purdue students are writing letters to residents at St. Mary's Healthcare Center.

Posted: May 27, 2020 10:55 AM
Updated: May 27, 2020 11:18 AM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — When the coronavirus pandemic began, St. Mary Healthcare Center restricted visitors to ensure safety. That's when Purdue University Hospitality and Tourism Management instructor, Keith Molter, decided to have his students help.

Prior to the pandemic, Molter required his Consumer Science class to complete 10 hours of volunteer work. Once the pandemic began, Molter decided to have his students write letters to residence at the healthcare center. The handwritten letters would allow students to earn credit for community service. 

"The reason we did this is because the residents had to accept no visitors," said Molter. "They had to eat all three meals in their rooms and there were no more group activities for them."

Molter knew this would be a great learning opportunity for his students.  

"Many of them had never written a letter before," said Molter. "Many of them did not know how to acquire a stamp."

Molter has 122 students in his class and 70 of them wrote letters. Each handwritten letter counted as two hours of community service for the students.

Molter believes this was a great experience for his students and it gave the residents something to look forward to.

"What was very nice was it connected two very diverse generations," said Molter. "These students were writing letters to people who are their grandparents age."

Molter's Consumer Science class wrote over 250 letters, which allowed every resident within the facility to receive more than one letter.

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